Mild Seven Renault F1 Team drivers Jenson Button and Jarno Trulli approach the British Grand Prix in optimistic mood following competitive recent tests at the Silverstone circuit. Although expecting a strong showing, it is, as ever, only on-track...
Mild Seven Renault F1 Team drivers Jenson Button and Jarno Trulli approach the British Grand Prix in optimistic mood following competitive recent tests at the Silverstone circuit. Although expecting a strong showing, it is, as ever, only on-track performance that counts:
"I'm not making any predictions yet," said Button. "We haven't had qualifying, and it's only really then that we'll know what sort of shape we are in for the race. Obviously it was good to score points at the Nürburgring after several unlucky results, but scoring points is our aim everywhere."
Push a little further, though, and it is clear that Button, participating in his home race for the third time, is looking forward to performing in front of the passionate, partisan fans:
"It is a very important race for me and it is great to be racing at home in Britain. Obviously, it makes the weekend very busy, but the home crowd brings nothing but motivation. It would be fantastic to get my first podium anywhere, but doing it at Silverstone would be something pretty special," said Button.
Jarno Trulli is confident that he can join his team-mate in making the weekend one of the team's most competitive so far this year. With just over half the season gone, Trulli has gelled with his team of engineers and mechanics, and with two points finishes now under his belt he is ready to attack the second part of the year.
"I now feel perfectly at home within the team," he said. "Everything is getting better and better and I have a great relationship with my engineers and mechanics. That has been shown with the results, as we saw in Monaco and Canada, and we all went out before the Canadian race and had some fun in Montréal.
"I know that the hardest period is now behind me - the best is definitely yet to come. Although I haven't tested much at Silverstone this year, the team has set some fast times and I am looking forward to a good weekend and a competitive performance."
Both drivers single out the sweeping corners of Becketts as their favourite section of the challenging circuit:
"For me, Becketts is definitely the most exciting part of the track. Overall it's a circuit I enjoy, where you need a stable, well-balanced car to be quick in the high speed corners," says Trulli.
Button adds: "Becketts is a good complex with some very quick changes of direction. It's fun to drive lap after lap in the race when you're getting tired, demanding good fitness levels, accuracy and total concentration."
It is now nine races since Renault made its return to Grand Prix competition this year, and the Silverstone race marks the 25th anniversary of the company's original foray into Formula One.
For Trulli, the significance of driving for Renault truly hit home when he visited Paris after the European Grand Prix to participate in the launch of the company's new Mégane road car.
"It is only when you are in an environment like the Mégane launch in Paris that you really appreciate what Renault means to people in France and throughout the world. I am very proud to be a part of something so special."
Button is hoping he will be able to mark the special event with a trio of entertaining performances at Silverstone, the Goodwood Festival of Speed (12-14 July) and the French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours (21 July):
"It is going to be fun couple of weeks and we hope to put on a good show for the fans at Goodwood, as well as performing well in the next two races," said Button. "Renault have been competitive in every form of motorsport they have tried their hand at. It's definitely a big motivation to be associated with that kind of success."